Journal entry by Debi Hamm

It’s Spring and my daffodils are in full bloom.  I had 300 bulbs planted last year and it was the best thing I ever did.  Seeing first the crocus, then the daffodils, and now, even a few gorgeous tulips, has been the best thing ever to brighten our spirits.  The weather is getting warmer, and Mike and I look forward to spending as much time as possible sitting outside on our patio.
 This may be our last summer in this house, so we will not take one moment for granted.  Last year we put quite a bit of money into redoing our landscaping, planting flowers everywhere, and getting the outside of the house totally looking the way we always wanted.  Then we were going to totally revamp the inside.  Well, after a lot of serious discussion, we finally decided that our home could possibly end up being too much for us in the future.  We live in a two story, and the stairs are becoming harder for me to get up and down. Nothing I cannot handle at the moment,  but we asked ourselves “Could this house become problematic in the future for us”? Not only the stairs, but the upkeep of a large home. That answer was Yes! Neither Mike or I have great health, so we thought, let’s not wait until it becomes really hard to make a move. With that, the decision was made, and as much as we love our neighborhood and our neighbors, we are actively searching now for a new home. We have discovered that just the search itself is hard, tiring. So I am glad we are doing it now while we still can, but we are heartbroken to leave our beloved cul-de-sac!  We have literally the best neighbors in the world. Most people hardly know their neighbors. But we are all more than that. We are friends. Good friends that you can count on in a pinch. It is scary to start over. There is a lot of fear surrounding just that!
 Mike is doing well, or as well as one can be on dialysis. He is gaining weight back very slowly, about one pound a week. It’s hard with such a strict diet, but he is counting those calories every single day to make sure he gets enough for that 1 pound. He has begun to walk on the treadmill every day, and is also exercising and lifting very small amts of weight.
All of this will help keep his body transplant strong.  He naps more than he used too, and he tires much more quickly while on dialysis.  But like me, he too is now learning to pace himself. That was a hard one for him, he was always so active from the time he woke up until he went to bed.  His fistula has started to be problematic, so they may have to start poking higher up in the arm. We had hoped it would last longer because they really do cause a lot of deformity of the arm. But it is what it is.  
 No leads, no activity as far as finding a donor.  This last month was very hard for me personally. I felt so defeated, angry and heartbroken that I had not been able to find a donor for Mike. We spent every single day, and most of the day for me searching. Maybe I started out with hopes too high to achieve. Mike and I have discussed it a lot, and have resigned ourselves that it will probably be a cadaver kidney in his future. That means many more years on the list and on dialysis.  I am slowing my search, although I will never give up looking, I just need to also take care of myself and my sanity.  Our every waking hour was on finding that kidney, and it is exhausting for us both. We want to just take a moment for ourselves right now, and find that happiness again. One day at a time.
 I will continue Mikes updates. Things can change so fast around here. We will be busy in the coming months, house hunting, purging and getting our home ready to sell while we look for our last home, and every other minute will be on our porch enjoying the summer.   It will be a good distraction, and I think we need that for awhile.
 Happy April, Debi
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